From Manhattan, New York, we add these great amps to our amp stock in the shop.
A little bit of history:
Alex Aguilar, co-founder of this brand along with bassist Dave Boonshoft, is the man behind the legendary Sadowsky onboard preamp. In 1991 Aguilar opened his own amp repair shop (next door to Sadowsky); Dave Boonshoft needed a studio quality tube preamp and asked Alex to build one for him, and the mythical DB680 was born ("DB" for Dave Boonshoft). BAsed on the success of that unit, they created Aguilar Amplification in 1994. Later would come the DB359 and DB728 heads, the OBP-1 internal preamp, and later the brand's flagship, the DB750 hybrid head, as well as the GS and DB series of bass enclosures, the world famous DB924 external preamp and the OBP-3 internal preamp (used by dozens of luthiers) and the new AG500 amps. From 2003 the company is run by Dave Boonshoft and Dave Avenius.
A true classic amp, period.
The DB750 is Aguilar's flagship head and as such has gained a reputation in the market as one the best amps around. you'll find it in studios and stages worldwide. This amp defines what's come to be known as the Aguilar Sound.
First of all, Aguilar have made sure there will always be more than enough power to all the electronic parts, even under the most demanding and loud situations. A huge toroidal transformer and no less than 8 capacitors take care of this.
This amp delivers no less than 750W at 4 Ohms and, hold on, 975W at 2 Ohms thanks to its 12 Mosfet Transistors. Two continuously working fans at the back take care of keeping this baby cool at all times.
The preamp section houses 3 12AX7 plus one 12AU7 high qualitly tubes.
When you power the amp on, it performs a self-diagnostic procedure. Once the heavy-duty input and output relays are engaged and the status LED stops blinking, the amp is ready.
The power section offers 500W RMS at 4 Ohms, and you get the feeling that there's always more power available thanks to the impressive headroom. Many brands measure power at peak over a specific frequency (typically 400 Hz), especially tube amps, but if you measure it at 80Hz you'll see you get much less power. Aguilar do it "the right way", measuring at the whole sonic spectrum. That's why Aguilar Watts seem to be louder Watts.
While the AG series by Aguilar offers a quick, more immediately responsive feel, the DB750 could be described as plushy and finger sensitive.At low volume and low Gain setting, the DB750 is actually quite flat sounding, with just that nice midrange texture that only tubes offer. Turn the volume up and you get a tone that seems to sit halfway between a classic Ampeg SVT head and a Hifi amp. Simply irresistible!
If you prefer the tube character to dominate, just turn the gain up. It is easy to find the sweet spot where you can actually add a little bit of grind if you play hard, then get a totally clean sound by playing softer. That's what touch sensitive is all about. Of course, you can go for a more edgy sound by turning up the Gain pot even more.
We tried to use the amp in a loud situation, but it seems that this amp will deliver more power than is safe to handle for your ears. You get the feeling that there's always more power available, and that's a good thing, right?
With 5 string basses the low B sounds focused and more powerful than ever, and it even seems to help some basses with a less than great 5th string.
Following on the Aguilar Sound principle, the power section of the DB750 is actually quite flat sounding (so much, it could be used as a reference amp in the studio to power monitors), and it is the preamp and EQ that actually sculpt the sound. Instead od foing for parametric or graphic EQ, Aguilar have kept things simple but really effective. The two switches are very well voiced, with "Deep" adding +3dB of broadband boost @ 30Hz and "Bright" working as a passive RC pre-emphasis @ 5kHz–7kHz.
Then there's the 3 band EQ, all with a ±12dB range.
These straightforward tone controls are effective and thoughtfully voiced, and will allow you to get gig-appropriate sounds with ease.
In the studio this amps behaves just great. The XLR Tube-driven Jensen DI transformer with PRE/POST and GROUND LIFT switches is can rival the sound quality of expensive outboard DIs.
Some more features, at a glance:
- Perfect Effects Loop: pull "Send" for -20dB operation, pull "Return" to switch from Paralell to Series operation. Neat!
- Input pad (-15 dB) for active or hot basses
We are seeing more American brands move their headquarters and/or manufacturing facilities to Asia in order to reduce costs. Nothing wrong with that, but the truth is most of the times you get a lesser amp that doesn't sound half as good as the original, nor do they compare in terms of construction, components or quality control . We are happy to see that Aguilar are still making their amps and cabinets in the US, and are making them with painstakingly attention to detail and quality control.